CEDAR SPRINGS, Michigan -- An alleged intruder shot to death Saturday by a
Cedar Springs homeowner was scheduled for trial this week on a host
of felony charges -- including home invasion -- stemming from a July
Kevin Lee Salinas, 22, suffered a fatal bullet wound to the abdomen
about 3:30 a.m. Saturday after being ordered off the back porch of a
home owned by Robert J. Clarke, 48. Salinas died about eight hours
later at Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids
The homeowner told police that Salinas took at least one step toward
him, after disregarding the warning to leave, before the shot was fired,
according to Cedar Springs police.
Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth had not announced a
decision Tuesday about whether Clarke's action was justified. Forsyth
likely will issue an opinion by the end of this week or early next week.
Salinas was due to appear Monday before Kent County Circuit Judge
Donald Johnston to stand trial for a July incident where he is alleged
to have assaulted an ex-girlfriend after breaking into her home, then
knocked down a neighbor's porch trying to chase the woman and the
neighbor with his car.
Kent County sheriff's deputies said they chased Salinas' car for two
miles before he fled on foot. Deputies said Salinas then climbed a tree
and refused to come down.
Salinas eventually was arrested, and although he refused to take a
portable blood-alcohol test, a later test showed his level was higher
than the limit set for driving, according to court records.
Salinas was charged with home invasion, malicious destruction of
property, felonious assault, fleeing and eluding a police officer,
resisting and opposing a police officer and drunken driving. He faced
up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Gren said Tuesday that his
investigators have concentrated solely on Saturday's incident and were
unaware of the pending charges against Salinas.
"That would have nothing to do with our case, but it might explain
why he ran," Gren said. "It might say something about his behavior or
his state of mind."
Salinas and a friend ran when a Cedar Springs patrol officer spotted
them hitchhiking. Their car reportedly had broken down.
The friend was caught and arrested on an outstanding bench warrant,
but Salinas got away. If he had been drinking, as police suspect,
Salinas might also have been arrested for violating his probation for a
conviction on a May larceny charge.
Records also show he was wanted on a bench warrant issued by
Rockford District Judge Steven Servaas for an alleged domestic assault
Clarke said he was awakened a short time later by what he thought
was the sound of someone trying to enter the doors and windows of
his house at 153 W. Pine St. Clarke allegedly took his registered 9 mm
handgun to confront Salinas and order him off the property before
firing the fatal shot.
State law permits the use of deadly force when life is threatened or in
cases of home invasion.
Gren said investigators still are waiting for a toxicology report on
blood taken from Salinas during an autopsy.
The report is expected to tell if Salinas was intoxicated at the time of
his death. He reportedly had been drinking prior to Saturday's incident.
Services for Salinas were to be held at 1 p.m. today at Cedar Springs
Free Methodist Church. Burial was to follow at Solon Township
Cemetery. Salinas is survived by a 3-year-old son, Kayleb Lee Salinas;
his mother, Janet Carpentier, of Cedar Springs; and his father Rogelio
"Roy" Salinas of Grand Rapids.
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